The long stretch of Route 66 that runs through the Texas panhandle definitely is the roadside oddity hall of fame. No other section of Route 66 compares to the colossal amount of weirdness that can be found along the Mother Road in Texas. The roadside oddities are not just restricted to the burnt-out Route 66 ghost towns, because plenty of Route 66 oddities can even be found in the thriving farm communities and the big city of Amarillo. If you are into experiencing the weirdest of the weird roadside attractions, then touring Route 66 through the Texas panhandle will certainly be your cup of tea!
The spring season weather conditions were challenging during my Texas Route 66 tour. During the trip, steady 60 mile per hour winds were coming from the south and the gusts were well over 80. There were fast moving wildfires and some tornado activity was reported. There were also plenty of big dust devils that passed close by, as can be seen in the photos. Needless to say, trying to stand steady in the high winds while photographing historic Texas Route 66 was quite challenging and the lungs felt like bags of dust at the end of the day.
It is doubtful whether anybody knows the reason why the Texas section of Route 66 is the winner of the weirdest of the weird roadside attractions award. All that can be figured is that the weird theme has been a saving grace, ever since Interstate Highway 40 bypassed good old Route 66. Curious travelers stop to check out the roadside oddities and a few spend money in nearby businesses along the way, so the odd attractions do generate some income, which is better than no money coming in at all.
For many small towns and businesses along Route 66 in Texas, being bypassed by a modern Interstate Highway was too much to overcome and many lives suffered the consequences the morally corrupt planning. There are plenty of abandoned businesses and several vacant ghost towns along Route 66 in this region. Rising above the sadness are the weird roadside oddities that can cause a visitor to wonder what this place was like way back before the final nail was driven into the Route 66 coffin.
Just like a ghost from the past, the apocalyptic VW Slug Bug Ranch rises from the ashes of one of the casualties of the Route 66 bypass. This site was once a successful motel, restaurant and gas station combination stopover spot near the town of Panhandle, Texas. Now this forgotten place is just a bunch of decomposing abandoned buildings that has a strange unadvertised roadside attraction that draws many tourists each day. There are no nearby businesses and there is no price of admission.
The VW Slug Bug Ranch is an apocalyptic art statement at its best! The outline for this work of outdoor art is a long row of old junkyard VW Beetles planted nose first into the ground. With the design in place, all that is required is some audience participation to add some color. In this case, viewers are expected to use spray paint to add a personal touch to the salvage yard masterpiece!
If you have ever dreamed of going hog wild with a can of spray paint without getting arrested, then the VW Slug Bug Ranch will be like a dream come true! Everybody that stops by to gaze upon the VW Slug Bugs are expected to use a can of spray paint to leave an artistic impression of their own. The colorful content that is cast upon these old junk cars is quite a sight to see and plenty of time can be spent deciphering the overall message that is conveyed. The only rule to the VW Slug Bug painting game is to pack the empty spray cans out and dispose of them properly, instead of letting them become an environmental hazard.
Checking out the roadside oddities has always been part of the Route 66 game. The VW Slug Bug Ranch certainly is a visionary place to be and one thing is for sure. This outdoor apocalyptic art exhibit will surely cause onlookers to scratch their heads in wonder for many miles further on down the road!
Leave no trace!
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